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Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Lexus, First Drives, Luxury

Lexus' Best Compromise Yet



Ever since the Prius unexpectedly became the Xerox of hybrids and a greenie icon, Toyota has been trying to figure out how to apply the technology to its other models. Its results have been decidedly mixed, nowhere more so than with its luxury lineup. But with the 2013 Lexus GS 450h, Toyota thinks it has finally figured out what a hybrid luxury car should be.

From a sales perspective, the first-generation GS 450h was a disappointment. While we liked it quite a bit when we test-drove it a couple years ago, Lexus just hasn't been able to move the metal. Introduced to much fanfare in 2006 as a 2007 model, the GS was Lexus' second hybrid and the first rear-wheel-drive hybrid on the market. Lexus touted it as a performance sedan, even as Toyota was heavily marketing its hybrids as fuel sippers. Whether consumers were confused or not, they never took to the hybrid GS. Sales peaked at just below 1,800 in that first year and have gone down in each successive year. In 2010, Lexus sold barely 300 GS hybrids, roughly four percent of total GS sales, which were about 7,000.

The cognitive dissonance presented by Lexus hybrids has been an issue since the brand launched its first, the 2006 RX 400h SUV. Only marginally more powerful than the standard RX, its improvement in fuel economy was similarly slight at launch. The LS 600hL - the brand's halo car before the LFA sports car came along - is a six-figure, 20-mile-per-gallon hybrid marketed as having V12 performance with V8 fuel economy, the rough equivalent of ordering a Diet Coke with your Super Size Big Mac Extra Value Meal. The "Lexus Prius" HS 250h, with neither particularly good fuel economy (35 mpg combined) nor any sporting aspirations, has been a critical and sales disaster and is rumored to be on the chopping block. While Toyota's simple, "better mileage" definition of its hybrids is clear, Lexus has combined green machine and muscle car in varying doses, such that you never quite know what you'll be getting with a gas-electric Lexus.Continue reading 2013 Lexus GS 450h [w/video]

2013 Lexus GS 450h [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Dec 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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Lexus just keeps shitting the bed...that thing is ugly.
 
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